Sent in empathy to Gazan friends
Dearest friends—Mona, Adham, Amal, Amani, Ibrahem, Islam, Marwan, Mohammed, Mohanad, Mosab, Raghda, Rana, Sharif, Wafa, Yousef, Mustafa, Reem, Eyad, and Awateef.
I and many others around the world attempt to notice what is happening in your beloved Gaza, and act for justice. In my case, in the United States, many of us participate in rallies and marches (recent photos from Boston below). Some of us pressure governmental representatives to question the unqualified support the USA gives Israel. Noam Chomsky and other people of influence speak out. I continue showing my photos from Palestine and Israel. And now I consider a return to Gaza and the West Bank in the spring of 2013 if I can find a way to enter by working with organizations there.
Stay strong, you are in my prayers,
Eyad El Saraj, one of the recipients of my note and the founder and former director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Center, responded with this photo, writing “Israel’s exercise of power today in Gaza”:
A Palestinian relative of four sibling children of the al-Dalo family, who were killed in an Israeli air strike, reacts as he stands next their bodies at a hospital in Gaza City November 18, 2012. (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)
The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace.
The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.
Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.
When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.
I add the following more recent report about many of the civilian victims of the current Operation Pillar of Defense, perpetrated on the same defenseless people, those who survived Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-09.From the report:
…Yesterday we visited Al Shifa hospital, where most of the injured are brought to. There we spoke with doctors, patients, their relatives, and witnesses about what they are going through in the current escalation in the Gaza Strip. We wish to share some of the stories of the people we met.
…At approximately 1:10 pm, as we were leaving the ICU, a 10 month old girl, Haneen Tafesh, was brought into the ward. She was unconscious and her tiny body was grey. She had suffered a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage, which resulted from an attack that took place at around 11 am yesterday in Gaza’s Sabra neighbourhood. She was in a coma and on mechanical ventilation. Later in the afternoon, we checked how Haneen was doing and doctors said her condition had deteriorated. After returning home in the evening, we learned that she had died….
“The Latest Gaza Catastrophe,” by Richard Falk
“Trapped in Gaza” by Lara Aburamadan, November 16, 2012
#GazaUnderAttack| Names and ages of killed people in the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, a blog by the Palestinian woman in Gaza, Shahd Abusalama (she lists 84, the number is rising. This compared with 3 Israeli deaths.)